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Sydney most searched-for destination this coming summer

But Queensland continues to dominate with inbound visitors & GC, Brisbane, Sunshine Coast and Cairns featuring in top 10

New release data from Expedia Group indicates that Sydney is shaping up as the most searched for destination for international tourists travelling down under over the coming summer season.

But the Sunshine State continues to dominate with the Gold Coast, Brisbane, Sunshine Coast and Cairns featuring in the top 10 most searched for destinations.

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Sydney, followed by the Gold Coast, Melbourne, Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast accounted for almost 60 percent of searches for the period with Cairns, Perth, the NSW North Coast, Hobart and Adelaide comprising the remainder the top 10 most searched for destinations.

The top five were also on the radar for guests looking to stay longer, the research showing the average length of stay 35 percent-plus longer than the nation’s average.

While Expedia says the bigger picture paves a long road of recovery still to come, there are some green shoots across the nation, with a handful of instances where figures had started to reach or even surpass the numbers recorded across the same summer holiday period in 2019. 

As examples, while US is still the top inbound market, German travellers searching for Australian destinations grew by triple figures (+190 percent Yo3Y) and Cairns is now being searched more than 30 percent times more by international travellers than at the same time in 2019.  

In terms of length of stay, across the board, the research shows that while the Australian average has not returned to the same level as Summer 2019, there are opportunities for hotels looking to attract longer-staying guests. As an example, the length of stay in Melbourne has increased by more than 5 percent.  

Expedia Group Director, Account Management, Jamie Griego said understanding the data to make evidence-based decisions was more important now than ever.  

“We are lucky, in some ways, that our high summer season comes months after the initial border reopening and that we’ve had time to settle back into some semblance of routine,” Mr Griego said. 

“At Expedia Group, we are cognisant and committed to ensuring that our data, tools and technology can support hotel partners by lightening the load – whether that’s conversion and revenue optimisation across high-value travellers or administrative logistics and communication that can support a more positive guest experience,” he said.  

Additional data-crunching showed the top most searched for destinations for the east coast states as follows: 

New South Wales:


North Coast

South Coast

Byron Bay

Central Coast


Gold Coast

Sunshine Coast






Great Ocean Road


Mornington Peninsula

Victoria Regional Other 


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